Letters to the Editor

Hope springs eternal on climate change action

Dear Editor,

As our election nears, we hear the same old things. “It’s all so depressing.” “It’s all so confusing.” “We’d better hand the reins to the same old guys”. “This time, for sure, they’ll fix it!” Not much hope there.

But Canadians aren’t confused. Some 2,000 of us were recently asked about our “serious” or “really serious” issues (http://bit.ly/2Zka0M0). On top were the “rising cost of living” (91 per cent) and the “climate emergency” (82 per cent), followed by “wealth and income equality” (81 per cent) and “automation and the loss of good-paying jobs” (73 per cent).

Drilling down a bit, when asked if “Climate change represents a threat to the future of our children and grandchildren”, 80 per cent agreed. Well over 50 per cent agree on what to do: electrify vehicles, build out renewable energy, retrofit houses and buildings, stop fracking and bitumen mining, etc. Some 74 per cent accept “Phasing out extraction and export of fossil fuels over the next twenty to thirty years”, and over 50 per cent believe that we can meet our international commitments to reduced carbon emissions.

That’s not confusion; that’s consensus on the problem, and majority support for the solutions. We are in agreement. There is hope here.

But of course we’re concerned about our work and our standard of living, about who is going to pay for all this. Well, once we get past the propaganda, there’s also lots of hope here. We can simply fix our big-company and bank-friendly tax system to reduce inequality.

Over the next few years, cheaper renewable energy will replace ever-more-expensive fossil fuels. Cities will be cleaner and quieter. Cars will be cheaper to drive and need less maintenance. Houses will be warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Our cost of living will go down, not up. Our quality of life will go up, not down.

Bill McKibben of www.350.org says “Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.” There are more jobs in restoring the tar sands than in production. There are hundred of thousands of trades-level jobs retrofitting the building stock. There are already one-and-a-half times as many workers in clean technologies than there have ever been in the oil patch. We can use the $10–14 billion planned for pipelines to build out the electrical grid; way more workers are needed there. More jobs than people: that’s going to be the problem.

For entrepreneurs and companies, the opportunities are breathtaking. We’re at the beginning of a massive and rapid energy and economic transformation. Canada has a great highly-skilled workforce, superb universities and colleges, nimble companies able to take advantage of new opportunities. We have a sense of concern for others and for the common good. We are ideally positioned.

Remember when Wayne Gretzky was asked why he was such a fantastic hockey player? He said “Because I go to where the puck is going to be.” We’re preparing for an election, and the old parties are grinding it out in the corners, behind the blue line, elbows and sticks up, fighting for possession. But voters are out in the zone, where the puck is going to be. We’re moving. We’re going to score.

John Kidder

Ashcroft, B.C.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Off-duty Burnaby officer helps apprehend Cache Creek car thief fleeing towards Clinton

‘This is just one example of how we are always ready to respond to emergencies’

Savona athletes bring bronze medals back from BC Winter Games

Akira Susanj and Alexander Teague both competed in Karate events

Drag races returning to Campbell Hill for Graffiti Days weekend

Four events are planned at the dragstrip starting in May

Historic Hat Creek set new visitor record during 2019 season

Heritage site looking to build on last year’s success in 2020

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Most Read